The Minister of Agriculture recently disclosed that her ministry has asked districts that are expected to experience long dry spells to adjust their farming strategies, by encouraging their farmers to grow drought-resistant and short duration crops.
The Minister warned that farmers in several districts in the Southern and Eastern provinces may not be able to grow some of their traditional crops, such as maize, because of the ongoing draught.
The ministry’s advice should be taken seriously by the relevant district and provincial authorities, if the recent gains made in agricultural production are to be consolidated or even surpassed.
Local Government authorities in the affected areas should work more closely with other stakeholders in providing the recommended seed varieties to farmers for the new farming season. And, since most Government services have been decentralized, the changes should not affect the timing of cultivation. Agronomists, too, should get closer to the people in the affected districts to help them adjust accordingly.
As our food growers across the country transit from subsistence to commercial farming, it is important that we strengthen the Crop Intensification Programme (CIP), especially by insisting on crops being grown on favorable land.
Once our farmers start to get more produce and revenue, like some have already done, they will certainly be at the forefront of our much needed agricultural revolution.